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U.S.-Backed Forces Retake Syrian Conoco Gas Plant From ISIS

U.S.-backed Syrian forces have seized a Conoco gas plant from Islamic State in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor area, depriving the militants from an important revenue source.

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the U.S.-led coalition, said on Sunday that they were making gains in eastern Syria after seizing the Conoco plan from ISIS, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to local activist monitoring group Deir Ezzour24, the SDF’s Deir Ezzor Military Council captured the village of Khasham in northern Deir Ezzor after advancing through the northwestern part of the Deir Ezzor Desert with the support of coalition aircraft.

SDF “moved through the Conoco Gas Plant and the surrounding area in an attempt to remove any remaining pockets of Islamic State fleeing from the plant to Khasham,” according to Deir Ezzour24. The Conoco gas plant can produce nearly 50 million cubic feet of gas per day. The Islamic State had been in control over the plant since the middle of 2014.

Islamic State militants had planted explosive devices at the plant, hoping to cause a maximum damage, before the SDF took control over the facility on Saturday, Omar Abu Leila, who heads Deir Ezzour24, told The Journal.   

The plant was one of the most important sources of cash for the terrorists, according to an SDF spokesman who spoke to The Journal.

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According to Deir Ezzour24, the militants traded a large part of the fuel produced at the gas plant to Iraqi buyers or to the Assad regime.

Meanwhile, U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack ISIS in Iraq and Syria, conducting 51 strikes consisting of 68 engagements, the U.S. Department of Defense said on Saturday. In Syria, near Deir Ezzor, a strike destroyed an ISIS supply route, the task force said, adding that ISIS targets were also hit and destroyed near Abu Kamal and Raqqa as well. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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